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Counseling Services

The Student Suspected of Substance Abuse/Addiction

 

Alcohol is the preferred drug on college campuses and is the most widely used psychoactive drug. Alcohol abusers in college populations may also abuse other drugs, both prescription and illicit. Patterns of use are affected by fads and peer pressure. The effects of alcohol on the user are well known. Student alcohol abuse is most often identified by faculty, staff, or RAs when irresponsible, unpredictable behavior affects the learning, work, or living environment (e.g., drunk and disorderly in class, office or residence halls), or when a combination of the health and social impairments associated with alcohol abuse sabotages student performance. Because of the denial that exists in most substance abusers, it is important to express your concern about the student not in terms of suspicions about alcohol and other drugs, but in terms of specific changes in behavior or performance.


DO DON'T
  • Confront the student with his/her behavior that is of concern.
  • Address the substance abuse issue if the student is open and willing.
  • Offer support and concern for the student’s overall well-being.
  • Make a referral to an appropriate helping department or agency (e.g., Counseling Services, Alcohol & Other Drug Education (AODES).
  • Maintain contact with the student after a referral is made.
  • Convey judgment or criticism about the student’s substance abuse.
  • Make allowances for the student’s irresponsible behavior.
  • Ignore signs of intoxication in the classroom, workplace, or residence hall.